Lade Inhalt...

Capital Structure and Profitability: S&P 500 Enterprises in the Light of the 2008 Financial Crisis

©2009 Masterarbeit 137 Seiten


General Definition and Justification of Issues and Objectives:
The publication of the Modigliani and Miller (MM) capital structure irrelevance theorem in 1958 and the subsequent preference of purely debt financing due to tax advantages in 1963, was in contradiction to traditional approaches which suggested an optimal capital structure. Meanwhile the theories of MM are academically accepted and out of competition with other approaches, since the underlying assumptions, especially the existence of perfect capital markets, is considered as unreal. However, in every economic boom, when access to capital becomes easier, financial markets seem to come close to the conditions of perfect markets, characterised by high competition and prosperity.
It is found that the western economic order is marked by asset bubbles that resulted in over one hundred crises over the last three decades and which bring companies back to reality with a hard landing. Access to capital becomes extremely restricted and uncertainty dominates as the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 showed. Although signs were evident in 2007, the change from prosperity to depression can come overnight, where free market policy shows its true face, with unpredictable damages deeply wounding in the economy, and seeming to paralyse even the most experienced economists.
Since liquidity becomes a scarce resource and consumption declines, free cash flows that were previously available to finance an amply corporate structure, dividends and bonuses, are likely to fall. As debt, if any, must still be paid back – often to worse conditions than before – corporations might run out of liquidity, as has happened to major US companies during the last twelve months. Also, investments that ought to ensure future profits are likely to be reduced or to come to a still stand, sending firms and the economy in a downward spiral. However, as experienced and predicted by Copeland and Greenspan, systematic organisations which are considered as ‘too-big-to-fail’ are offered bail-outs at the cost of society.
This work aims to investigate the impact of the capital structure on the profitability of large capitalised US companies. It does not, therefore, aim to test existing theories, nor does it try to find a model to predict one or another capital structure, since numerous attempts have previously been made that have so far struggled to capture the full complexity of the real world. […]


ISBN (eBook)
1.7 MB
Institution / Hochschule
University of Leicester – Corporate Finance, Master of Business Administration
2010 (März)
capital structure profitability financial crisis corporate finance



Titel: Capital Structure and Profitability: S&P 500 Enterprises in the Light of the 2008 Financial Crisis